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Industry Policy for a Productive Australia

Chairman's speech

Productivity Commission Chairman, Gary Banks, delivered the Colin Clark Memorial Lecture in Brisbane on 6 August 2008.

Contents

Introduction

The end of old-style industry (protection) policy
Our ageing infants
An old theory recycled

The broadening of Industry Policy

Industry assistance nevertheless remains substantial

New policy forces and influences
The innovation impetus
The greenhouse challenge
Ensuring a productive outcome

The ultimate objective must be economy-wide benefits
The 'materialist fallacy'
Other problematic pretexts

What policy rationales meet the economy-wide objective?
Innovation in perspective
Spillovers can inhibit R&D
A faster changing and more tangled web?
The environment-innovation interface
Other rationales

Ensuring a payoff: policy design and review are crucial
Some key design features
Properly reviewing the outcomes

Summing up